Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan earned the NFC special teams player of the week for his effort against St. Louis on Sunday.
Ryan placed four of his seven punts at or inside the 10-yard line against the Rams, finishing with a net average of 33.4 yards and had only one of punts returned for 9 yards, helping Seattle win the battle of field position.
This is Ryan's first player of the week award in his five-year career, and Seattle's third special teams player of the week award this season. Leon Washington earned special teams player of the week earlier in Week 3 against San Diego by returning two kick returns back for touchdowns. And kicker Olindo Mare won the award in Week 7 with five field goals at Arizona.
Ryan is the third Seattle punter to win the honor, joining Rick Tuten (he won it three times) and Tom Rouen (Week 2, 2004).
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Sean Locklear was the only player on Seattle's injury report today. As we reported earlier, the Seattle offensive tackle is attending to a family matter for a few days but is expected back in time for the game on Saturday.
Wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who missed last week's game with a head injury, has been cleared to practice and fully participated in practice on Wednesday, so it looks like he'll be ready to go on Saturday.
New Orleans' injury report is much more extensive.
Along with the Saints placing running backs Chris Ivory (foot) and and Pierre Thomas (ankle) on the injured reserve list this week, several players did not practice today.
They include LB Danny Clark (hamstring), TE Jimmy Graham (ankle), DL Anthony Hargrove (knee) and S Malcolm Jenkins (knee).
TE Jeremy Shockey (groin) and TE David Thomas (knee) were limited participants.
And DE Alex Brown (shoulder), WR Marques Colston (knee) and LB Anthony Waters (ankle) were full participants.
We had our weekly conversation with Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, and he talked about the quarterback situation with either Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst starting on Saturday.
"Right now they're both practicing," Bates said. "Charlie stepped in and did an unbelievable job of managing the team, taking care of the football and getting us to the postseason. So Charlie did great, Matt's getting healthier by the minute, so right now it's a good time for the Seattle Seahawks as far as the quarterback situation."
Bates also provided an interesting answer when asked about the mobility issue between a dinged up Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst.
"I think Matt's pretty athletic," Bates said. "At the end of the day I've always said I think Peyton Manning is the most athletic quarterback in the National Football League because he only moves an inch and he never gets hit.
"With athletic quarterbacks everyone looks at it different. Some would say Michael Vick's an extremely athletic quarterback. I think Peyton Manning is because he never gets hurt, never gets touched because he can move in the pocket."
Also, wide receiver Mike Williams' contract numbers are out. According to the NFL Players Association web site, Williams will earn base salaries of $1.75 million in 2011, $3 million in 2012 and $3.4 million in 2013 for a total of $8.15 million in base salary over the life of the three-year deal. With incentives and bonuses, Williams could earn up to $11.2 million. ESPN's Mike Sando has the contract particulars here.